Ethel Merman

Singer, Actor, Stenographer
This Broadway singing giant ("Girl Crazy", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Gypsy") had a brassy, larger-than-life star persona and a uniquely powerful, heart-felt voice and popularized songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and ... Read more »
Born: 01/16/1908 in Astoria, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (27)

Texaco Star Theater: Opening Night 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

100 Years of Golden Hits 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

Lieutenant Hurwitz (Actor)

You're Gonna Love It Here 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Journey Back to Oz 1974 (Movie)

(Voice)

Ed Sullivan's Broadway 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Art of Love 1965 (Movie)

Madame Coco LaFontaine (Actor)

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 1963 (Movie)

Mrs Marcus (Actor)

The Gershwin Years 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

The Arthur Murray Party For Bob Hope 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

There's No Business Like Show Business 1954 (Movie)

Molly Donahue (Actor)

Call Me Madam 1953 (Movie)

Mrs Sally Adams (Actor)

Stage Door Canteen 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Alexander's Ragtime Band 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Big Broadcast of 1936 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Anything Goes (Movie)

Reno Sweeney (Actor)

Anything Goes (TV Show)

Actor

Batman (TV Show)

Actor

Happy Landing (Movie)

Flo Kelly (Actor)

Kid Millions (Movie)

Dot Clark (Actor)

Straight, Place and Show (Movie)

Linda (Actor)

Strike Me Pink (Movie)

Joyce Lenox (Actor)

The Love Boat (TV Show)

Actor
Music (7)

Irving Berlin: An American Song 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Song Performer

Drop Dead Gorgeous 1999 (Movie)

("Everything's Coming Up Roses") (Song Performer)

In & Out 1997 (Movie)

("Everything's Coming Up Roses") (Song)

Terms of Endearment 1983 (Movie)

("Anything Goes") (Song Performer)

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

("Everything's Coming Up Roses") (Song Performer)

All That Jazz 1979 (Movie)

("There's No Business Like Show Business") (Song Performer)

The Late Shift (TV Show)

Song Performer

Biography

This Broadway singing giant ("Girl Crazy", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Gypsy") had a brassy, larger-than-life star persona and a uniquely powerful, heart-felt voice and popularized songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, among others. Merman's belt-it-out rendition of Berlin's "There's No Business Like Show Business" has become the anthem of the entertainment industry. In occasional films from 1930, Merman undeniably brightened a number of features (several of which, like "Anything Goes" 1936, "Call Me Madam" 1953 and "There's No Business Like Show Business" 1954, were full-fledged star vehicles), but the medium and, all too often, her material didn't give full reign to her magnetic, grand-slam personality.

Relationships

Sherman Billingsley

Companion
owned the Stork Club in NYC was married at time of relationship with Merman wife refused to give him divorce so he ended relationship with Merman c. 1940

Ernest Borgnine Actor

Husband
Married June 27, 1964 Separated next day on June 28, 1964 Divorced July 28, 1964

Barbara Geary

Granddaughter
born c. 1961 daughter of Ethel Merman Jr producing a documentary on grandmother

Robert Levitt

Husband
married in fall 1941 divorced on June 10, 1952 had two children with Merman committed suicide in 1958

Ethel Levitt

Daughter
born in July 1942 suffered with mental problems estranged from her mother after her marriage at age 18 rift partially mended after birth of her two children committed suicide in August 1967

Robert Levitt

Son
born c. 1945

Robert Six

Husband
ran Continental Airlines married on March 9, 1953 divorced in 1960

William Smith

Husband
married on November 15, 1940 divorced on October 1, 1941

Edward Zimmerman

Father
died in 1977

Agnes Zimmerman

Mother
died in 1974

EDUCATION

William Cullen Bryant High School

Long Island City , New York
graduated

Milestones

1980

Last film role, a cameo in "Airplane!"

1968

Final stage appearance "Hello, Dolly!"; the play had been originally created with her in mind but she turned down the role; finally played Dolly on Broadway after Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable and Phyllis Diller had played it

1959

Signature role of Mama Rose in stage version of "Gypsy"

1953

First film in 10 years, "Call Me Madam"

1950

Broadway appearance in "Call Me Madam"

1946

Played Annie Oakley in Irving Berlin's "Annie, Get Your Gun"

1940

Starred on Broadway in "Panama Hattie"

1936

Appeared in film version of "Anything Goes"

1935

Radio series debut with the weekly "The Ethel Merman Show"

1934

First full-length feature appearance, "We're Not Dressing" opposite Bing Crosby

1934

Appeared as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" on Broadway

1932

Appeared in George White's "Scandals" and introduced song, "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries"

1930

Broadway debut in Gershwin's "Girl Crazy"; introduced "I Got Rhythm" and other songs

1929

Adopted surname of Merman

1928

Signed 6 month contract with Warner Bros.; made film debut in short subject in nonspeaking role (date approximate)

1927

Signed to 9 year contract by agent Lon Irwin (date approximate)

1926

Obtained letter of introduction to producer George White from her employer; White subsequently offered Merman a chorus role which she declined (date approximate)

Worked as stenographer upon high school graduation

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